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Dark eyes...how would you handle it?

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  • Dark eyes...how would you handle it?

    I am restoring some old family pics for a Xmas gift and this one of my uncle has me stumped. Since the head is small (full length shot) and the original picture was small and had to be enlarged to 5x7, it isn't very crisp when blown up to work on it, and I can't see the eyes in the shadows very well. I want to brighten the face and bring out his eyes, but there aren't that many pixels to work with. I am afraid to make it too obvious. How would you experts handle this one?

    Thanks.

    Phyllis
    Attached Files
    Last edited by pstewart; 12-07-2002, 12:22 PM.

  • #2
    OUCH! Looks like some that are sitting in a file cabinet waiting for me...

    Adding a contrast mask helps some (duped layer ->(already desaturated) inverted ->Gaussian Blurred-> and set to Layer Blend of Overlay or Soft Light (my choice with this image. You can then add layers set to Screen blend and see the white of his eyes (well, light gray of his eyes).

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    • #3
      Phyllis - I only see the top part of the image. Can you please repost?

      CJ - Do you see the whole image?

      Thanks, Jeanie

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      • #4
        Phyllis -- you've got a double posting of this thread -- and now both are not downloading the image fully (the image downloaded just fine last night).

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        • #5
          I merged the two threads, but like CJ said, both attachments are only partial images.
          Jeanie

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          • #6
            Should work now

            For some reason when I edited the post it made a second one AND destroyed my picture in the process...gremlins are everywhere. Should be fixed now. I'd like to know the best way to proceed before I start messing with it to save frustration. Thanks for any suggestions.

            Phyllis

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            • #7
              Yikes!

              My first thought is to try scanning it in RGB, not grayscale. It's possible, even though it's a B&W photo, that you may find the detail you're looking for in one of the individual channels. (My guess would be the red one, but I don't know that for sure.)

              I did an experiment of duplicating the layer three times - each with Screen blending mode - trying to see if there was any detail there to work with. I'm not convinced there is. What I see is something that looks like a wide-open eye, but if you compare it to his other eye, it looks a little lopsided and out of place, so I think that the "noise" in the photo just happens to look like an eye, but it's really just noise and not detail in the photo. Then again, maybe it really IS his eye? (I didn't do this as a suggested "fix" for the problem - only to see what I had to work with. I've attached the image here.)

              I tried selecting the eye on the right and flipping it to replace the one one the left, but wasn't able to get anything I was happy with in the few minutes I spent on it.

              Anyway, my first suggestion is to look at the individual channels to see if there's any detail there to work with. If not, you might just have to leave the dark shadow as is. Messing with the eyes too much is tricky business because they can really make or break whether the photo still looks like the person or not.

              Good luck!

              Jeanie
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                If you can re-scan in RGB mode -- I certainly agree with Jeanie that would be worth doing.

                With the current image - I applied the contrast mask and merged layers. Then I copied that layer and set blending mode to screen - added layer mask (Hide All) and painted on the mask (with white using a low opacity brush set to lighten) where I thought I saw the whites of his eye. His right eye does appear to look very different from his left -whether from the angle or low contrast in the image or? I have no painting skills, and my vision is much less than accurate, so I'm not positive that I didn't end up painting in parts of the iris etc., but you have painting skills to use once you can SEE where to apply them.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeaniesa
                  Messing with the eyes too much is tricky business because they can really make or break whether the photo still looks like the person or not.
                  Exactly! That's why I was afraid to mess with it till I got some input.

                  I rescanned it and tried looking at the channels before going to grayscale, but the eyes didn't improve on any of them...too much shadow I guess. However, there WAS some difference in the channels...I never would have thought so, but there was. From now on I will look at channels before changing to grayscale to desaturate...thanks for a very useful tip.

                  There are two eyes visible all right, showing clearly in your picture and in CJ's. I had found the one on the left but I also see the one on the right better now. I did as CJ suggested and used a contrast mask etc. and got acceptable results, acceptable considering the small size of the head in the final print. The eyes are still in shadow, but even from a distance (looking at the whole pic) they look better, since now it looks like there are actually eyes there and not just folds of skin.

                  I knew I'd get good advice here...thanks ladies.

                  Phyllis

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                  • #10
                    Glad to hear you were able to glean something from our attempts Phyllis!
                    Jeanie

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                    • #11
                      HI Phyliss.
                      Try this. do a selct all copy paste, on the original adjust the curves slighly. do a new snapshot brush select it and highlight the above snapshot and paint in with the history brush. Thats how I got this one. You can also use the marque tool anadjust the eyes only. I also painted in some eyes from what I could see and it looked good.

                      YOu can see the right eye and barley the left. Good luck.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Here it is with eyes.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Well here's a try Phyllis.
                          I used this on the latest Restoration Challenge.
                          First I set a layer adjust levels to 0/1.34/115. Next I duped the background and set it to 26% opacity normal. Then I dodged and burned on that layer only at 7 shadow dodge and 11 midtones burn. This is only a quick attempt, but perhaps if you try you can get better results.
                          Debbie Debbie
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by dcarr; 12-13-2002, 05:31 AM.

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